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bitternepreschool

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1. How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

When parents first visit our setting we ask them to complete a unique child book. This document is designed to support the setting staff to gain an overview of the child’s learning and development so far, through a range of questions including; getting to know my family and me, Likes and dislikes, food and drink, health and development, and sleeping and toileting routines. This document will be used by your child’s “key person” to refer to whilst your child is settling-in and to support staff to gain some insight into your family life.

We continually track children’s progress through a cycle of observation, assessment and planning. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage Development Matters and the Early Years Outcomes as a guide for the development milestones that a child would typically make at different stages up to the age of 5.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development please feel free to discuss these with your child’s key person and the settings Special Educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo).

 

2. How will early years setting staff support my child person?
We have a dedicated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) who is responsible for overseeing the provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in the setting as a whole. Additionally to this we have a SENCo who will work alongside the designated SENCo to support both key person and parents if needed.

Every child is assigned a “Key Person” upon joining the Setting; they will have a co-key to step in if the key person is unavailable. The Key Person is responsible for supporting their key children within every aspect of the setting. We have a strong system in place where staff are guided by an experienced management team to meet the needs of the child.

If there are other professionals or services involved with your child e.g. Portage of Speech and Language Therapy, we will work closely with them and you. The SENCo will insure that all target sheets and individual plans are followed by the key person, To help your child meet their individual targets.

We use the “Every Child a Talker” (ECaT) initiative which aims to improve the communication skills of children aged 0-5 years, and to develop the knowledge, confidence and communication skills of practitioners and parents. ECaT is used across Southampton and has had a very positive impact on children’s communication and language.

If we feel that your child requires provision over and above what can typically be resourced within the setting we will work closely with the Southampton City Council Early Years and Advisory Teachers (EYATS) who can support us to put in place specific strategies to support your child, as well as applying for additional funding which will be used to provide extra help that your child might require e.g. 1:1 support. Additionally they can make referrals to specialist services if this is assessed to be the need.


3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?
Children are continuously monitored through observations, assessment and planning (OAP).
If a child is receiving specialist support from an outside agency, for example Speech and Language Therapy, and given specific targets, we will liaise with both the parents and the professional involved. Being aware of these targets, as well as the child’s views/interests, enables us to focus on their individual strengths thus ensuring that they are fully supported during their time at the setting. We then complete an Individual Education and Care Plan (IECP) with your help. This will be reviewed regularly as it is a working document. This is carried out every half term and when progress has been made.
When planning activities for children, staff will ensure that any next steps or recommended targets are considered with the help of the SENCo. The activity will be planned to ensure it best fits the child’s needs. 


4. How will both you and I know how my person is doing and how will you help me to support my Child’s learning?
Parents are given regular feedback regarding their child’s progress through various formats including one to one’s with parent/carers, through your child’s online learning journal, “Tapestry” and through direct feedback following sessions.

Parents are welcome to book appointments to have a chat with their child’s key person at any time in order to discuss progress and next steps; we operate an open door policy.  

If a child has set recommendations which are monitored through an Individual Education and Care Plan (IECP) this will be shared with parents when set up and then following each review. This is carried out every half term or when progress is made.

We are happy to support families as best we can to implement strategies at home and will refer to services/training where appropriate/requested.

 

5. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Within the management structure of the setting we have individual members of staff who are responsible for specific policies, including: Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Behaviour Management. Their role is to ensure all staff are aware of policies and that they are implemented correctly. All policies are subject to annual review.

All staff hold a paediatric first aid qualification.

All potential staff are subject to a thorough recruitment process including;
- Suitable references from previous employment
- Occupational health clearance
- Enhance Disclose and Barring Service check (DBS).

All members of staff are always available to talk to the parents, should they need any advice, support or guidance regarding their child.

There is a strong emphasis throughout the Setting, which focuses on social support for the children. Within the age groups and abilities, we have flexibility which allows the daily routine to be adapted to suit individual needs.

Children are involved in their daily routine. There is lots of opportunity for them to “free flow” around structured activities of their choice.  The Staff encourage the children to be as independent as possible, and the environment supports this. The setting also promotes self-help skills.

 

6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

Our primary mechanism for specialist support is through the setting’s designated Early Years Advisory Teacher (EYAT). The EYAT team specialise in early year’s education and children with SEND in the early years – they are based in the Early Years Team in Southampton City Council. They support us in a range of areas, from general advice through to accessing appropriate support via referrals to specialist teams including:
- Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)
- Physiotherapist
- Occupational Therapy
- Portage services
- Specialist Teachers for children with sensory needs.

 


7. What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
Each Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator SENCo within the setting has completed “The Role of the Early Years Special Educational Needs Co-coordinator” training.

The settings SENCo attends termly Inclusion Conferences run by the EYAT’s. Information from these conferences is cascaded to all staff members through internal meeting processes.

Regular attendance by the SENCo to the local Early Years and Childcare Briefing meetings ensures that all staff are kept up to date with relevant practice, training and legislation.

We are an attachment aware Pre-School; our SENCo has recently finished the training for this accreditation and has shared it with the members of the team. 

A member of the team is (THOMAS trained), The Hampshire Outline for Meeting the needs of the under-five’s on the Autism Spectrum.

We have a member of the team who is level 8 Makaton.

Two members of the team have relevant Behaviour training for the early years.

We also have staff who have attended training on the “Attention Autism Programme”

 

8. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
As we are based at a primary school we can use their play grounds regularly and we also have a forest area which is the setting.  When these areas are being accessed by the setting they will require a risk assessment to be carried out. We ensure that appropriate adult/child ratios are maintained at all times during these times.

A trained paediatric first aider is present at all times. First aid kits will be taken along with any medication which a child may require for the time we are there.

We carefully consider each child’s individual needs when planning activities in these areas. If for any reason an activity is not suitable for a child, we will make necessary reasonable adjustments to ensure that the child can be included as much as possible.

9. How accessible is the setting environment?

We are attached to a primary school and we have a separate door to the setting, this door is wide enough for wheelchair access. We have a ramp for access and we also have access through the school.

Our garden is on two levels, this could potentially stop an individual child from accessing the area. Where feasible we will make any necessary adaptions and reasonable adjustments. Each case would be individually assessed and we would work with families to consider possible ways to meet the specific needs of the child.

The setting is a large open plan space on one level. All age groups play and learn together; on occasion the two year olds will go off and have an activity aimed purely at their age group.

There is potential funding available for equipment that your child is assessed to need by health services.

The setting offers visual stimulation for children who have English as an additional Language (EAL). This is presented in the form of pictures and symbols, to enable children with EAL to access the environment as independently as possible.


10. How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
Starting at the setting.

Before starting at the setting parents/cares are invited to bring their child for introduction visits. The purpose of this is to familiarise parents and children with the setting and to meet staff and other children whilst offering a “taster” of a typical day.


Starting school.

All children’s Online education journals (Tapestry) are completed by the end of July and sent through to the school prior to the child starting. This includes any paperwork which supported the child whilst they attended the setting. This provides the school with all the relevant information before the child starts.

Some schools will arrange visits with us to come and see the children within their Pre-School environment. 

If your child as additional needs we can arrange an inclusion meeting with the receiving school and any other professionals to support a smooth transition and to give clear picture of need and provision that is required to be in place in the new setting. 

If we identify, alongside specialist services that a young person is likely to require support above that is typically available in a mainstream school, for a prolonged period of time, we will ask your permission to apply for an application for an Education, Health and Care (EHC), leading to a statutory EHC Plan. We will do this in a timely manner to ensure that your child has the support they need on entry to school.


11. How are the setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

If a child meets the eligibility for early years funding for additional support the resources will be used specifically to meet the needs of the individual* child/young person as per the funding agreement with Southampton City Council.

*There may be cases when we apply for funding for two or more children jointly, based on their level of need.

 

12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Our staff carefully plan for each individual child within the setting, taking into account their interests and level of development.

The staff are guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage, and use plans which identify and track a child’s current age and stage of development. This allows staff to plan activities which support and encourage the child to work towards their next development milestone. In turn, this will identify any areas where a child requires extra support.

If we feel we need support or guidance regarding a child, we will arrange an appointment with the parent/carers permission with the Early Years Advisory Teacher (EYAT) who will visit the setting and meet with the parent. The Early Years Advisory Teacher will advise us if they feel we should be providing additional support and will support our funding application to Southampton City Council with written observations.


13. How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
We recognise that parents are the expert in their child and place a high emphasis on parental involvement in all aspect of every child’s learning, regardless of need. 

If we identify that your child has additional needs we will discuss this with you along with details of any additional provision that will be put in place to support and meet these needs. We will get your consent before involving any external agencies relating to specialist support, including the Early Years Advisory Teachers (EYAT’s). We encourage open dialogue around areas of concern and are keen to work with families co-productively to enhance outcomes for the child.  

We operate an open door policy and are always able to talk with the parent/carer about their child.


Parents can track individual progress through the use of a child’s “tapestry” Journey – whilst this is the place where staff collate observations, pictures and evidence of an individual’s work, we also encourage parents to share their own observations, notes, and comments as well as pictures and videos.

 

14. Who can I contact for further information?
For further information you can the setting on 02381 783830/ 07957 987244 or email k.blakeman@bitternepreschool.co.uk

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